$125,000 FRESNO OPEN
Cedar Lanes, Fresno, Calif., May 23-28, 1988
Pete Proud In Fresno
Nice guys can finish first, although it took 15 years to relieve the "can't win" monkey off likable Pete McCordic's shoulders. Houston's McCordic finally collected his first PBA crown in the $125,000 Fresno Open, by stopping Rey Perez, Cincinnati, 258-230. Perez also was seeking his first PBA championship, but it was McCordic earning the $18,000 first prize as well as a berth in the 1989 Firestone Tournament of Champions.
Fifth-seeded Perez had built his momentum from the first match after qualifying through a fortuitous twist in the position round. Dave Husted, facing Randy Pedersen in the 42nd game, struck on his last shot to tie Pedersen and give the nod to Perez, who had led the tournament after the first four rounds.
McCordic opened the championship game with a strike, then thought, "Here we go again" after leaving the 4-6-7 split in his second frame, perhaps en route to his seventh PBA runnerup finish. Following his open, McCordic then spared and strung a nine-bagger, including three pressure strikes in the 10th frame to seal the victory.
Perez began with a tie against Berardi, Brooklyn, N.Y., and nursed a slim lead throughout to continue, 223-208. Next up was Sweden's Mats Karlsson, victor in the 1987 Greater Los Angeles Open when McCordic recorded a perfect game in the finals. Karlsson had claimed his two previous titles in California, but was thwarted a third as Perez out-struck him to advance, 219-192.
Walter Ray Williams Jr., Stockton, Calif., entered the fray in the semifinal match and led after nine frames, but a closing four-bagger by Perez pushed him past, 239-237. Williams was frustrated in making his fourth 1988 championship round appearance without a title.
PLAYOFF RESULTS - Perez defeated Berardi, 223-208; Perez defeated Karlsson, 219-192; Perez defeated Williams, 239-237; and in the championship game, McCordic defeated Perez, 258-230. 42-GAME TOTALS OTHER CASHERS * - Match play alternate. 18-game qualifying leader - Rey Perez, 4118. 24th place - Ron Williams, 3822. 53rd place Scott Devers, 3729. PRO-AM CASHERS - Ernie Schlegel, Art Trask, Marshall Holman, Steve Cook, Pete McCordic and Mats Karlsson ($50 each).
* - Match play alternate. 18-game qualifying leader - Rey Perez, 4118. 24th place - Ron Williams, 3822. 53rd place Scott Devers, 3729. PRO-AM CASHERS - Ernie Schlegel, Art Trask, Marshall Holman, Steve Cook, Pete McCordic and Mats Karlsson ($50 each).